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Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

enough, walking up and down, he hummed it,
dropped it, fell silent.

He was safe, he was restored to his privacy.
He stopped to light his pipe, looked once at his
wife and son in the window, and as one raises one's
eyes from a page in an express train and sees a
farm, a tree, a cluster of cottages as an illustration,
a confirmation of something on the printed page
to which one returns, fortified, and satisfied, so
without his distinguishing either his son or his
wife, the sight of them fortified him and satisfied
him and consecrated his effort to arrive at a
perfectly clear understanding of the problem which
now engaged the energies of his splendid mind,

It was a splendid mind. For if thought is like
the keyboard of a piano, divided into so many
notes, or like the alphabet is ranged in twenty-six
letters all in order, then his splendid mind had
no sort of difficulty in running over those letters
one by one, firmly and accurately, until it had
reached, say, the letter Q. He reached Q,
Very few people in the whole of England ever
reach Q. Here, stopping for one moment by
the stone urn which held the geraniums,, he
saw, but now far far away, like children pick-
ing up shells, divinely innocent and occu-
pied with little trifles at 'their feet and somehow
entirely defenceless against a doom which he